Reflection: Travel by Numbers

After her first 16-month journey, Sherry reflected on the experience through numbers.

[singlepic=1116,200,,,right]I must admit, I went to school for Accounting, why – I have no idea.
“Hello my name is Sherry and I’m a bean counter.”
Yeah – it never quite fit me, nor my personality, which is probably how I ended up in Information Technology. However, there was something about numbers that I liked which seems to fit with my Type A personality.

As I spend my days reuniting with old friends in New York, I am constantly asked to summarize my 16 months for everyone. This is not an easy task – therefore I started to actually prepare for this question in advance. I made lists…lists of countries, airlines, money, experiences, and anything else I could anticipate being asked. It provided me a summarized look at my travels through numbers…and I love numbers. So here it is – my around the world travels by numbers.

[singlepic=1117,125,,,left]Number of countries I’ve visited: 23
(in order)
– Kenya
– Tanzania
– South Africa
– New Zealand
– Australia –
Bali (Indonesia)
– Singapore
– Lombok (Indonesia)
– Thailand
– Borneo (Malaysia)
– Hong Kong
– Vietnam
– Cambodia –
– Croatia
– Montenegro
– Italy
– Morocco
– Egypt
– Switzerland
– India
– Laos
– Lankawi (Malaysia)
– China
– Japan

Number of pictures taken after editing (throwing out the bad shots which were too many to count!): 11,868

Number of stories/posts I’ve written on my website: 167

Number of airports I’ve flown into/out of: 46
– London – Nairobi – Dar e Salaam – Johannesburg – Capetown – Hong Kong – Auckland – Christchurch – Sydney – Cairns – Melbourne – Bali – Singapore – Lombok – Chiang Mai – Mae Hon Song – Bangkok – Krabi – Borneo – Hai Noi – HCMC – Siem Reap – Phnom Phen – Athens – Santorini – Rome – Dubrovnik – Madrid – Dubai – Marrakech – Casablanca – Cairo – Aswan – Geneva – Jordan – Delhi – Udaipur – Luang Prabang – Vientiane – Lankawi – Beijing – Kunming – Shangri-la – Tokyo – Mombassa – Lamu

Number of cancelled flights: 1

Number of times my luggage was lost: 0 – miracles do happen

Number of times I lost something: 1 – a luggage lock which was easily replaceable in Morocco. Trying to communicate with the shopkeeper to find/buy the lock was definitely the hardest part!


Number of treks and mountains climbed: 13 – Mt. Sinai, Egypt – Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (I was just about there…I’m counting it!) –
Mt. Kinabalu, Borneo –
Tiger Leaping Gorge, China –
Atlas Gorge, Morocco – Milford Trek, New Zealand –
Mt. Vesuvius, Italy – Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand – Hill Tribe Trek, Thailand –
Hill Tribe Trek, Vietnam – Great Wall Trekking, China –
Dali Trek, China
– Color Canyon Trek, Eygpt

Longest number of simultaneous days I spent in one country: 60 days – Italy

Number of ferries taken: 10
Zanzibar to Dar e Salaam – Cat Ba, Vietnam to ?
– Split Croatia to Ancona, Italy – Ischia to Naples – Sorrento to Ischia – Sorrento to Capri – Egypt to Sinai – Dubrovnik to Miljet – Mykonos to Athens – Santorini to Mykonos

[singlepic=1115,175,,,left]Number of world landmarks I’ve seen: 6
– Taj Mahal
– Pyramids
– Angkor Wat
– Great Wall
– Roman Coliseum
– Parthenon, Greece

Number of times I was sick: 1 – in Vietnam

Longest number of days without a shower: 7

Number of overnight trains: 10
– Hanoi to Sapa – Sapa to Hanoi – Hanoi to Hue – Hue to Nha Trang – Nha Trang to Saigon – Tangier to Marrakech –
Beijing to Xian –
Xian to Beijing – Bangkok to border of Laos near Vientiane

Number of memorable places I’ve run: 19
– S. Africa Capetown along the waterfront
Sorrento – on the cliffs outside of town and down the cobblestone streets
Rome – getting lost along the river
Tuscany/Siena – amongst the grape fields and rolling hills of a country road
Singapore – in the oven and in the jungle
Mossel Bay S. Africa – along the harbor and through the city
Pai Thailand – over the river and into the villages
Hanoi, Vietnam – around the lake in the old quarter. People looked at me as if I had 3 heads!
Hue, Vietnam – along the river – people made me stop to take pictures of me with their cell phone!
Greece Mykonos along the ridge against the freezing Mediterranean winds
Croatia Split along the harbor
Croatia Dubrovnik along a rocky beach path on the cliffs
Hong Kong dodging tourists at the peak – an amazing view of the city below
Venice Lido along the beach trail
Ferrara Italy on top of the old town wall surrounding the city
Geneva Switzerland along the lake
New Zealand Queenstown – in the freezing cold near the lake – it snowed later that day and I was out in shorts!
New Zealand – Te Anau along the lake front.
New Zealand – Wellington along the harbor

Number of Cipro pills I took: 0 – what can I say, I got lucky or I have a stomach of steel. However, I did have my share of Pepto!

Number of times I slept in a bunk bed: Too many times to count. Let’s just say, I’ve been in a bunk bed more often than a regular bed.


Number of friends and family who traveled with me on an individual basis: 9
– Cyndi (sister)
– Angie
– Veronique
– Emily
– Russ
– David
– Miles
– Marcy/Mike…ok – I kind of crashed their honeymoon – not sure if that counts
– Dad

Number of new friends I made for life: 6 – you know who you are

Number of wine regions visited: 4
– South Africa
– Yara Valley, Australia
– South Island, New Zealand – Tuscany/Chianti…the granddaddy of wine

Most number of countries in a one month timeframe: 6 in April 2007

Number of books I’ve read: 10 – ok, so this doesn’t seem like a lot. However, when I was living in the US, I’d maybe read 2 books a year if I was lucky!

Number of times I thought I might not make it to tomorrow: 5 – all having to do with terrifying drives in buses, mini-vans, dilapidated cars from the 70’s, and one very angry taxi driver in Naples.

Number of emails sent: 3600


Number of bodies of water that I dipped my toe or whole body into: 10
– Nile River
– Indian Ocean
– South China Sea
– Red Sea – Mediterranean Sea
– Mekong River
– Andaman Sea
– Aegean Sea
– Coral Sea
– Tasman Sea

Number of dollars I spent: The obvious answer here is ‘priceless’

For those of you who are really curious, and actually read to the end of this article – I did recently go through the process of determining how much I had spent over 16 months. Going through bank statements was a sobering experience for me, as I had never really sat back and thought about what I was spending, yet I felt like I was very budget conscience throughout my travels. The final number – approximately $70,000, and there is not one thing or experience I would change!

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